QPR produced a performance of real passion and quality on west London derby day, as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s improving side ran out worthy 3-0 winners over local-rivals Brentford at Loftus Road.
The R’s registered a third home win on the bounce in front of their own supporters, thanks to goals from Junior Hoilett, Sebastian Polter and Tjaronn Chery.
Hoilett opened the scoring in style on 38 minutes, curling a delightful effort beyond David Button and into the top corner.
Thereafter, two goals in five second half minutes, the first from Polter and the second from Chery, completely blew away the Bees, as Rangers gained a first London derby victory in some 17 attempts.
Following Tuesday’s convincing win over promotion-chasing Derby County in W12, Hasselbaink – for only the second time in his tenure – named an unchanged side for the visit of the Bees.
Alex Smithies lined up in goal behind a back four of James Perch, Gabriele Angella, Clint Hill and skipper Nedum Onuoha.
In midfield, Alejandro Faurlin partnered Karl Henry, with Matty Phillips and Hoilett occupying the wide roles.
In attack, Tjaronn Chery played in the ‘10’ role just off lone front-man Polter.
Brentford made one change to their starting XI, with the fit-again Alan McCormack returning to the fray at the expense of Marco Djuricin, who dropped to the bench.
The Bees lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
In a lively opening, QPR were first to register a shot on target.
Faurlin’s free-kick – awarded for a foul on Hoilett 25-yards from goal – appeared to be heading towards the top corner, but Bees keeper David Button was equal to it.
At the other end, Angella’s weak pass was seized upon by Sergi Canos, whose shot flashed a foot or so wide of Smithies’ right hand post.
The action continued to ebb-and-flow from end to end, with Chery the next R’s player to test Button, as the Brentford keeper raced off his line to thwart the Dutchman from an acute angle.
Button was the busier of the two keepers’ as the half reached its halfway stage, with the former Tottenham Hotspur custodian saving Hoilett’s low drive from the edge of the box.
Two minutes later, Alan Judge let fly from distance, but his long-range strike was always heading wide.
Canos was next to try his luck from range, with his piercing drive hitting the side-netting, despite the large majority of the travelling Bees faithful cheering to celebrate a ‘goal’!
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 38th minute – and how!
There appeared to be little on when Hoilett picked the ball up on halfway, but having tricked his way past McCormack, the Canadian suddenly found himself bearing down on goal.
What happened next was quite sensational, as Hoilett cut inside on his favoured right foot and curled an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net, giving Button absolutely no chance.
Brentford, to their credit, were almost immediately back on the front foot, with Ryan Woods’ 25-yard blockbuster cannoning back off the foot of the post.
But it was Rangers who fashioned the last chance of the half, as Chery curled an effort on target, which Button saved with comparative ease.
The second period was only 60 seconds old when the first flashpoint of the half resulted in bookings apiece for Henry and Woods.
Henry’s tackle – which referee Mr Graham adjudged to be fair – led to a melee on halfway, which all three officials deliberated about together, resulting in a booking for both players involved in the initial challenge.
That seemed to spark the second half into life and six minutes later, Judge cut in from the left and saw his curling effort go a yard over the crossbar.
Moments later, Chery – having escaped the attentions of McCormack who was picked to do a man-marking job on the Dutchman – fired another effort on goal, but this time it was straight at Button, who held on at the first attempt.
Brentford boss Dean Smith made his first change of the afternoon on 64 minutes, with Lasse Vibe replacing Canos.
With the home crowd seemingly acknowledging the importance of the next goal, chants of ‘Jimmy’s Blue and White Army’ began to reverberate around the Loft – and those cheers became that little bit louder in the 66th minute.
Onouha’s crunching challenge on Woods freed Chery and when his threaded through-ball found Polter, the big German did the rest, smashing the ball beyond Button to double the R’s advantage.
The Rangers supporters were on their feet again just five minutes later, as Chery made it three!
Faurlin played provider on this occasion, guiding the ball neatly into the path of the in-form Dutchman, who finished with aplomb past Button.
The R’s scorer made way three minutes later, to a standing ovation from the home crowd, as Massimo Luongo returned to action following a recent foot injury.
The same ovation greeted the outstanding Henry and Polter soon after, as Hasselbaink introduced Nasser El Khayati and Jamie Mackie for the final few minutes.
Rangers – with Phillips testing Button late on – were convincing winners, putting to bed the 1-0 reversal suffered at Griffin Park earlier in the campaign, and sending a sell-out crowd home happy.